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As US Ponders ISIS Response, First Responders Honored for Role in 9-11Recovery

Thirteen years after the attacks on 9-11, the US needs to remain vigilant against terrorism.

That’s according to retired Marine Corps major Dan Pantaleo, who was involved in the recovery effort after a hijacked passenger plane hit the Pentagon, killing 184 people.

Pantaleo is the keynote speaker at a 9-11 memorial event for first responders at the Orange County Convention Center Thursday morning.

The 13th anniversary of 9-11 comes as the US grapples with how to respond to the organization known as the Islamic State.

ISIS as it’s also sometimes called, recently posted online videos showing the killing of two kidnapped American journalists, including South Floridian Steven Sotloff.

Pantaleo says the US needs to be ready to respond to the threat posed by the Islamic State.

“Americans and the current administration needs to take them very seriously,” he says.

“It just boggles the mind that we’re now finally developing a strategy to move forward.”

Pantaleo says the challenge in guarding against the threat of terrorism is in balancing freedom and security.

In the days after the attack on the Pentagon in September 2001, Pantaleo helped with the search and rescue effort. He says at a building where more than 20,000 people work, it’s fortunate more people weren’t killed.

“I don’t know if people realize how big that building is and how important it is. It’s literally a city in and of itself,” he says.

“When we received the word that a 5th of the building had been destroyed and was on fire, you could see the potential for a major catastrophic event was there.”

Pantaelo says the part of the building hit by the hijacked plane was undergoing renovation.

He’s written a book to make sure the victims of the attack at the Pentagon are remembered- and to honor the first responders.


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »

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